I was in Israel in 1959. Occasionally I would take a bus to Jerusalem. The road up the mountains had many burned out armored vehicles along the side. Reminders of the recent War of Independence. A few of these burned out reminders are still along the highway to Jerusalem.
Once I got to Jerusalem and began walking I was confronted with another striking reality. This was a high desert town. Hot, dry, with virtually no trees and no amenities like water fountains. No stores or retail.
I walked to the Old City which was surrounded by barbed wire. Jews were not allowed in or even near it. My feelings about that where somewhere between ‘Who the fuck do you stupid Arabs think you are to keep us out of our city?’ and a question ‘When will we take this back? It is ours?” I still have the same gut feelings about the Temple Mount.
I was back in Jerusalem in 1992 when the City was lush with trees and amenities. Something Israelis are good at. Plenty of coffee shops and restaurants. My visit to the old city was wonderous. It is magnificent and is our home.
I still felt Jerusalem was a religious city. It lacked depth in shopping and tourist facilities.
My next visit that changed my mind was around 2010 when the gorgeous Mamilla Mall was open. This mall lead directly into the Jaffa Gate of the Old City. It is elegant with the original stone buildings of the Mamilla district. Jerusalem is now a real modern commercial city along with all the other parts.
You can imagine how I feel about the United Nations and UNESCO saying officially that Jerusalem, especially the Old City, is Arab Muslim. Just more provocation to take back the Temple Mount from those buffoons.